Justin Farmer: Hamden Legislative Council
Justin Farmer has been a resident of Hamden, CT for 20 years and currently attends Southern Connecticut State University as a second year Political Science Major. He is very active in his Newhallville / New Haven communities and has spent the last several months campaigning for a spot on the upcoming Hamden Legislative Council primary election ballot - of which he defeated the Democratic Town Committee’s endorsed candidate. Justin will be an official Hamden Legislative Council person this November representing Hamden’s 5th District.
When asked what his legislative council nomination means to him he says, "This is a great and humbling opportunity to get a chance to represent our community and grow tougher. I think if you said 20 years ago, in two generations in Hamden, there would be a son of a disabled, immigrant, black-man representing our community in fighting for all their needs at the age of 23, I think we would all say it would not be possible. As things have gotten harder, I think we need to be reminded that everything is possible in terms of our future - everything must be possible to rewrite our wrongs."
When asked what his primary goals during his time as a council person will be he said, "Some things that I hold near and dear to my heart is affordable housing... in our race to get more young professionals into the state of Connecticut we have neglected affordable housing and low income housing to allow for upward mobility of all of our citizens. I will be championing that everyone has a safe warm place to stay."
Justin was nominated as an Upstander by several people - I personally first met him at Southern Connecticut State University two years ago in the Women’s Studies office. Upon first meeting him, while you wonder why he wears noise canceling headphones, you get a feeling of warmth and attentive caring. It isn’t until he speaks about his interest in local politics and his own experiences being entangled in the political framework of the education system do you really get a sense of his compassion and interest in being a voice for those who typically do not have one.
One thing he wants people to know about him is that the headphones he wears are a tool he uses to help manage noise sensitivity issues due to Tourettes. "I happen to have Tourette's, it is a neurological disorder that causes tics which are sporadic movements and sound effects that are caused by electrical pulses sent from my brain. It's been five years now that I've been wearing the headphones."
I feel lucky to have been able to and continue to work closely with Justin throughout graduate school and through this project. His reach within the community was extremely evident as within the thirty minutes I spent photographing him on Audobon street in New Haven, he was approached by more than several people who informed him about issues they were facing or asked him about his political interests and then he was greeted by more than several acquaintances as they either walked or drove by. I personally endorse him as an Upstander and not a Bystander.
Connect with him through his “FarmerforFifth” facebook campaign group that is still actively being used: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1304106523020871/
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